A former Tasmanian MP who twice voted in favour of tough anti-protest laws says she is now prepared to join the protest against Bunnings.
Former Braddon Liberal member Joan Rylah, who announced her retirement on Monday morning, said on her Facebook page that “if Bunnings try to pull the same despicable act here in Tas I will be in the trucks blockading their business,”. The post was subsequently deleted. Source: Timberbiz
Bunnings recently announced it would stop selling timber logged by VicForests after a court found the state government-owned forestry agency breached conservation laws.
Environmentalist Bob Brown said a double standard was on display.
“It is passing strange that Eric Abetz condemns the CFMEU but protege Joan Rylah wants to get in their trucks if they blockade Bunnings,” Dr Brown said.
However, Mrs Rylah later repeated on Facebook that she was prepared to protest.
“It’s a bit rich to be called out by the serial stopper, blocker and knocker, Bob Brown, but I’m pleased I got his attention because I will protest peacefully but protest none-the-less to protect local jobs, local businesses and our sustainable, rich and diverse native forest industry,’’ Mrs Rylah wrote.
“I am proud of our Tasmanian native forest sector and I will stand by what I believe in – local businesses and local jobs.
“I have stood up many times before and I will stand tall to support workers and small businesses,” Mrs Rylah wrote.
“In my personal opinion, if Bunnings have a problem with VicForests then they need to take that issue to VicForest or the Victorian government and not crucify the businesses and workers who have complied by the rules and just done their job.”
Under anti-protest laws that Mrs Rylah voted for, demonstrators could face mandatory fines and prison terms if their actions disrupted workplaces such as Bunnings.